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Saturday, 7 April 2012

Game of Thrones: An appreciation

Of course it's high fantasy but it feels more like history. Well perhaps not exactly history - but it certainly feels real. The high politics, the scheming, the loving, killing, joy and suffering are all presented on such a vibrant canvas, with such attention to detail that it feels very real indeed. Whatever it is, there is one thing that is certain and that is that it has provided the most exciting and compelling television for a great many years.

The series, made by HBO, is based on the bestselling books of George R. R. Martin and prior to catching the first series of Game of Thrones I had not read any of the books. Of course I've remedied that now, becoming hooked on the series and currently half way through Steel and Snow. But this meant that the twists in the first season were fresh to me. I was shocked rigid when the supposed star of the show, Sean Bean was beheaded towards the end of the first season. It was a genuine all too rare moment when TV actually shocked the viewer. And of course by this episode I had become so enthralled in the show that I was totally cocooned in the world that HBO had so faithfully created on the screen. Apparently I'm not the only one who has been sucked in by this show - when the season one box set was released on DVD last month it set sales records for an HBO series in both the UK and American markets.

HBO have been responsible for some great shows  - Band of Brothers and Deadwood to name but two but Game of Thrones is something else, a true artistic masterpiece. A show that takes over your entire life. At the moment the second episode of the second season is about to air, and after last week's season opener I am again hooked on the show, and each episode is an highlight of my week. I don't really watch that much television these days but there are certain shows that I will never miss and Game of Thrones is one of them,

For those unfamiliar with the show is that is is an epic adult fantasy and there is much violence and nudity and a fair sprinkling of sex vut the sex is not gratuitous as it is in some of the current soft porn shows masquerading as adventure series - Spartacus hang your head. Game of Thrones is the real deal and whilst it doesn't shy away from depicting sex it doesn't make it a chief selling point. And if there is a chief point to the series it is with the characters, each of them, even down to the minor supporting characters are finely and richly drawn. And the acting is of the best quality throughout.

Game of Thrones truly is something special and if you're not watching it yet then you need to remedy that at once.


David Cranmer said...

Well I'll have to check this one out, Gary. You have convinced me. Always like Sean's acting.

Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin said...

David - you will be sucked in by this. It will take over your life. Let me know what you think when you've seen it

Davieboy said...

Glad you're enjoying the book. Great as the show is, the books are utterly obsession-forming. I've just spent my weekend near Heathrow. GRRM was there at a convention and there was just no way I couldn't attend.
I do recommend to all to watch the fine series, but do read the books.
I envy you reading the 3rd book "A Storm of Swords" for the first time; it's like suddenly discovering the Beatles! I've read the series probably 4 or 5 times and it get's better each time!
If you enjoy GoT may I humbly suggest Joe Abercrombie next, very gritty & violent but with humour and character - his forthcoming book "A Red Country" is a fantasy western.

Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin said...

Davieboy -I agree the books are indeed addictive and take over your life. I'm picking up Storm at every opportunity.